Disgust, Herz writes, is one of “the six basic human emotions” (along with happiness, sadness, anger, fear and surprise) that any healthy adult “can experience and recognize.” She says emotional disgust is the only one, among living creatures, that’s unique to humans, and the only one that has to be learned. This is what intrigues Herz, who began her career as a researcher in odor and emotional memory.
‘That’s Disgusting‘, an upcoming book on that most knee-jerk of reactions, looks like it’ll be a fascinating read. However, I don’t envy the poor New York Times reviewer who had to wade through all of it. “This is the point at which I wrote, “O.K., that does it,” in the margin — and I was only on Page 17.”